Investing 
11
comments

BVC #24 – How to Pick A Stock Broker [VIDEO]

Every week or two, I get an email from a reader wanting to know who I think is the best stock broker. I usually tell them that when it comes to my retirement, I use Vanguard because I like their mutual funds and because I can invest in those mutual funds for free. For my taxable broker, I use E*Trade and TradeKing. E*Trade because they had a high yield savings account that I could use as my sweep account (not anymore though) and now TradeKing because trades cost $4.95 and they consistently win awards for customer service (though I’ve yet to call them, never had a reason to).

In my emails, I don’t go through the methodology I used to picking a broker because I had planned on making a post about it. I only talk about the brokers I use and why (like in the above paragraph). So, I decided to make it the subject of the latest Bargaineering VideoCast.

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 Investing 
15
comments

BVC #23: Your Mutual Fund May Be Ripping You Off [VIDEO]

When it comes to investing, you can’t predict the future. What you can predict, with 100% certainty, is how much your broker is going to charge to get you there. If you’re like me, the majority of your stock market investments are in mutual funds in retirement accounts like 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and IRAs. While we can’t control how they will perform, we can be smart about where we invest by picking good funds with reasonable costs.

In this video, I look at some index funds, the easiest type of fund to compare, and how picking a low cost one can make a huge difference in your retirement nest egg.

Bargaineering #23: Your Mutual Fund May Be Ripping You Off from JIM WANG on Vimeo.



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 Personal Finance 
22
comments

BVC #22: Big Impact of Small Everyday Spending [VIDEO]

All too often we go through our lives spending a little here, a little there. We make these purchases automatically because they can be so small and so routine that we forget we even make it. A lot of these things are habits, like smoking, or they’re part of our daily routine, like a cup of coffee in the morning. In this video, I talk about how you should take a look at all those small purchases because over time they can accumulate into something bigger.

I also want to thank the fine folks at Intuit and TurboTax for supporting Bargaineering and sponsoring this video. With the end of the year coming, you’re bound to see a lot of tax related articles everywhere as people give advice on what you should do before the end of the year, so it’s fitting that TurboTax is the inaugural sponsor of these videos. If you’re on Twitter, I invite you to follow @TurboTax for more information on tax and product news straight from the experts.

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 Banking 
27
comments

BVC #21: True Power of Compound Interest [VIDEO]

It doesn’t take a genius to know that compound interest is a pretty remarkable thing. When your interest earns interest… and then earns some more, it can make for some large numbers over a long period of time. That part isn’t so difficult to understand even though plenty of people have written about it.

So why did I make a video about the “true power” of compound interest? Watch. :)

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 Personal Finance 
28
comments

Work To Live or Live To Work? [VIDEO]

My wife and I recently returned from the most amazing trip to Europe. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime, whirlwind trips where you have a ridiculous amount of fun, meet all manner of interesting people, and come back more cultured, educated, and open-minded than you ever expected.

In this video, I talk about the idea of whether we are working to live or living to work and how it’s important to take a step back, from time to time, to think about our situation.



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 Career 
21
comments

BVC #19: Get Towed Twice A Year [VIDEO]

Taking calculated risks and not being afraid to fail is a hallmark of every successful person. You know this, I know this, but it’s difficult to translate that into our every day life. Sure, we hear stories about Bill Gates dropping out of Harvard to start Microsoft, but how does that isn’t helpful to the everyman or woman working their 9-to-5 job.

How about this analogy, one that I read from Larry Chiang, author for a forthcoming book What They Don’t Teach You At Stanford Business School:

If you’re not crashing and burning twice a year, maybe you’re not reaching high enough. Similarly, if you’re not getting towed twice a year, maybe you’re not parking aggressively enough.

So many times we’re too afraid to fail and so we don’t make that leap. Don’t let fear make decisions for you.


 Personal Finance 
4
comments

BVC #18: It’s Better to Not Need a Bailout [VIDEO]

Stimulus packages have become all the rage the last year! $7500 first time homebuyer loan, $8000 first time homebuyer credit, Making Home Affordable, $250 Social Security stimulus checks, Making Work Pay, … the list goes on.

I’m sure you’re upset… but watch this quick video and I think you might feel a little better about it.

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 Personal Finance 
8
comments

BVC #17: The Luhn Algorithm [VIDEO]

Today’s video is about the Luhn Algorithm, a simple mathematical algorithm that you can use to verify the correctness of ID numbers that conform to it. Credit cards are the most common example and that’s what I talk about today.

Sorry about the shadow, I started using some new lights and I’ll have to work on the shadows in the future. But there’s more light right? :)

You can read more about the Luhn Algorithm at Wikipedia and here is the aforementioned 50 Fun Facts about Credit Cards post.


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